San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 389 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Mad Men: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 288
  2. Negative: 0 out of 288
288 tv reviews
  1. The revived 24 is still instantly involving and packed with a dizzying rush of suspenseful crescendos. The new Jack, meanwhile, is the same as the old Jack, which is to say he flips the bird in the face of terror and squirms his way out of major messes like a gun-toting Houdini--all while managing to make a man purse look good.
  2. If you're looking for allegorical, intriguing science fiction, this isn't it. If you're OK with rapid-fire, light-hearted dialogue with an occasional dig at politics and culture, this "Doctor Who" is your cup of tea.
  3. Although a bit rough at times (it's nowhere near as slick as "Laguna Beach"), Confidential is strong, emotionally charged stuff with the kind of real kids not often seen on TV.
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  4. Addictive. [1 Dec 2004]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  5. It can be downright uproarious at times. [27 Jun 2006]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  6. It's an engaging series that's definitely worth at least a trial spin.
  7. Bening provides the spark that drives "Mrs. Harris," keeping its darkly funny irony from degenerating into campy humor.
  8. You'll get hooked on it early and should stick around to the very end -- even though you have a good idea of what's coming.
  9. With striking eyes and a seductive smile, she's pretty much the only thing you see when she's on the screen. But Gugino doesn't get by on looks alone. She impressively balances toughness with a sultry vulnerability and plays Karen with a well-modulated nonchalance that brings an air of mystery to the character. And through it all, she avoids coming across as a cartoonish action hero. [1 Oct 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  10. The acting is snappy and the characters are funky, while the cinematography is grainy and pleasingly unpretty. [17 Sept 2002, p.D1]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  11. Hannibal is a sturdy offering, one that keeps viewers guessing and tensions simmering. Most TV crime shows have a tendency to quickly fade from memory. This one just might haunt your dreams.
  12. 'Weeds' stumbles at times during its first few episodes. It makes some of its points with too little humor and subtlety. But for the most part, this is a nuanced comedy with interesting characters performed by a first-rate cast. [5 Aug 2005]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  13. Community can be too consciously zany at times and occasionally misses more than it hits. But from the early looks of things, it seems to be holding up just fine.
  14. Whatever the case, it's a blast to watch Valley's character squirm his way out of a major mess, while keeping his droll sense of humor intact. Human Target never will be a big-time Emmy magnet, but as a piece of good, escapist fun, it definitely hits the mark.
  15. The good news is that Kaling and her writers have crafted a character who is competent at her job, not a goofball in scrubs. And they've offset the show's dreamy sweetness with plenty of snarky bite.
  16. The juxtaposition of the sometimes off-the-wall comments and the cuddly creatures is what makes "Comforts" so amusing.
  17. Monday's opening hour is a bit disjointed stylistically. But the individual pieces are so compelling that you're still going to be sucked into the saga. And the show gets far more consistent in future episodes.
  18. Lux is one of those cute, quippy, ultra-mature teens you find only on TV. And several plot points unfortunately come across as false. But it doesn't matter. The lead characters in Life Unexpected are so likable, and the interactions between them feel so natural, that you find yourself willing to give the show lots of slack.
  19. There are a lot of characters and budding plotlines crowding the "Soul Food" pilot, which give it a disjointed feel at times (It tales a while to sort things out). In addition, the deployment of Ahmad as a sporadic narrator comes off as rather clumsy. ... But "Soul Food" eventually gains traction and becomes thoroughly involving especially by its second episode. [26 Jun 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  20. This is a cast that jells immediately, hitting on all cylinders from the very first scene.
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  21. The show crackles with witty (and jargony) banter and mostly succeeds at making its tech world fun and engaging -- something Randi Zuckerberg's "Start-Up: Silicon Valley" reality series too often failed to do. But the problem with Betas is that it's an uneven endeavor that's just good enough to make you wish it were better.
  22. The series is not great television by any means, but it has a kind of breezy charm and sly wit that make it one of this summer's better new shows.
  23. There is more tension to the interaction between the characters and more emotions in play. [23 Sep 2002]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  24. The good news is that Sunday's two-hour opener answers several key questions in relatively rapid fashion and in ways that don't seem totally unreasonable. The bad news is that it also puts Sarah back at square one, and therein lies the problem.
  25. It's fast-moving eye candy and that's about it. [12 Jan 1997, p.4]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  26. The trick for Midler's writers will be to make sure the show is at least somewhat grounded in real-life situations while keeping the inside-Hollywood stuff from being too inside. It's funny, for example, when she expresses vengeful bitterness over losing the 1979 Oscar to Sally Field ("Norma Rae"), but it might not be so funny to hear references to her 1982 celluloid stink bomb "Jinxed." (Remember that one?) [11 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  27. The show doesn't look as if it will get too complex for its own good, the mystery has an internal logic that works and, best of all, there are moments... that suggest the creators are constructing some real flesh-and-blood characters.
  28. I suspect that if I were a 10-year-old girl -- which I'm not -- I would love this film... That being said, I can still recommend the movie because, despite some sugary-sweet moments,... [it] isn't condescending to its young target audience and actually has some bite to it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are lots of problems with the Special Victims premiere, chief among them being the focus on Olivia Benson, the female detective played by Mariska Hargitay. In a misguided rush to establish the character's background story and motivation as a cop, the episode's key moment is a revelation about an intimate detail of her life. It comes way before we have enough reason to care about her. [20 Sept 1999, p.7C]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  29. The show isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, but it's smartly written and the cast jells from the start.

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